Got Bed Bugs? Bedbugger Forums » General Topics

Helped a friend move house, am I being paranoid?

(6 posts)
  1. HaveIGotBugs2019

    newbite
    Joined: Sep '19
    Posts: 23

    offline

    Posted 2 months ago
    Mon Sep 30 2019 12:50:17
    #



    Login to Send PM

    Hi,
    I’ve posted here a few times now for stain IDs - I ran into bed bugs in three (!) places I stayed while away for work in August. I took extreme precautions coming home - stripped outside and ran up the stairs to our top floor tenement flat nude with only my SIM card between my teeth! Still, I’ve been a bit on edge and have been worried that I could have introduced them into my house somehow.

    I had just started to relax, partly thanks to David Cain’s helpful input on my stain photos, but on Saturday I helped a friend move to a new flat. They don’t have a car, so my partner and I offered to help out. We were moving bags of clothes and bedding, which weren’t airtight. Some bags had rips.
    The bed frame had been dismantled, and my heart sank when I saw it as there was a thick layer of dust and debris all along the edges of the pieces. While no one else was in the room, I had a closer look and found what I am 75% sure (after seeing enough images here and elsewhere online, and also after my experiences this summer) was the dried headless body of a 3rd/4th instar bed bug. It was that yellow-ish colour with a dark splotch in the middle, and the shape was right. I couldn’t take a picture or inspect fully for fecal stains or other evidence as I was worried about my friend coming back into the room.

    The stuff was already in our cars, so I thought the best thing to do was carry on as normal. We drove to the new flat and quickly unloaded the stuff (I told my partner what I’d seen). We moved their things into the new place (contact was quite minimal, just carrying bags). We then went straight to a petrol station and vacuumed both cars thoroughly, and sorted and bagged our loose possessions in the vehicles. We threw away towels that had been down in the boot and on the seats. When we got home, we shook down all our clothing outdoors, and removed and shook out our shoes. My partner had sat down in the couch in his jeans (for about 10 minutes before I got home) but I insisted we remove and wash them immediately.

    Does this sound like we’ve taken enough precautions? The stuff was in the cars for 25 minutes tops, and they were vacuumed basically immediately. I’m not even 100% sure it was a bed bug, and surely they would have seen something when dismantling the bed if there was an active infestation? There may have been an issue there in the past that was successfully treated. I am in touch with a PCO who treated my car when I returned from my work travel, and I’m going to ask him for CO2 traps for the cars.

    I’m stuck between wanting to take reasonable precautions, and being worried that I’m paranoid and just seeing them everywhere after my exposures in August, which by the third time had become quite traumatic. I also don’t want to feel weird about visiting my friend and having them up to my house.

    Just looking for a bit of advice about anything else I could do (we’re already getting monitors) and maybe a bit of reassurance. I’ve had a really horrible run of luck recently after having never even thought about bed bugs, and it’s made me really anxious.

  2. HaveIGotBugs2019

    newbite
    Joined: Sep '19
    Posts: 23

    offline

    Posted 2 months ago
    Mon Sep 30 2019 13:12:31
    #



    Login to Send PM

    I’m just so tired of thinking about these disgusting things. It feels like they’re everywhere and that I can’t trust public’s spaces, my friends’ homes or even my bloody car. I’m supposed to be going away this weekend with family and am terrified about spreading (potentially imaginary) bugs from my things to them, or finding them at the Air BnB and not being able to trust my family to take the proper steps to prevent bringing them home. It’s so exhausting and has put me in a really horrible place mentally.

    Sorry for the long post, it’s so hard to vent to my partner or family without sounding insane.

  3. Kak7127

    newbite
    Joined: Jul '16
    Posts: 47

    offline

    Posted 2 months ago
    Tue Oct 1 2019 18:35:50
    #



    Login to Send PM

    HaveIGotBugs2019 - 1 day ago  » 
    I’m just so tired of thinking about these disgusting things. It feels like they’re everywhere and that I can’t trust public’s spaces, my friends’ homes or even my bloody car. I’m supposed to be going away this weekend with family and am terrified about spreading (potentially imaginary) bugs from my things to them, or finding them at the Air BnB and not being able to trust my family to take the proper steps to prevent bringing them home. It’s so exhausting and has put me in a really horrible place mentally.
    Sorry for the long post, it’s so hard to vent to my partner or family without sounding insane.

    The only advice I have is to install passive monitors on your bed and/or couch, do a weekly thorough inspection, and (from what I’ve read here) if the monitors are properly installed and clear after 14 days along with no other signs such as bugs, feces, or cast skins, try to go back to your normal routine and tell yourself that bed bugs are not there. The not knowing is honestly the worst part. I’m in the exact situation-I was exposed to them and am now scared we may have a problem, especially bc I’m having “skin reactions.” I was in a complete state of panic for the first two weeks after exposure, I was anxious, depressed, and couldn’t even eat (lost 3 pounds lol). Luckily I was able to pull myself out of it and while I am remaining perhaps overly vigilant and still have trouble falling back asleep if I wake up in the middle of the night, I am miles from where I was mentally. You have to remember that as awful as the possibility is, they are just bugs and they can be killed, and you will be okay. Someone said they’re basically just mosquitoes that crawl instead of fly, so I try to think of that when I’m feeling scared. It is hard not knowing, but focus only on what you can control-check monitors, inspect weekly, and try your best to enjoy your day to day life like you normally would. And most of all, do not spend hours going down the rabbit hole on this website. This site is amazing but you will drive yourself insane if you spend too much time on it.

  4. HaveIGotBugs2019

    newbite
    Joined: Sep '19
    Posts: 23

    offline

    Posted 2 months ago
    Wed Oct 2 2019 1:11:45
    #



    Login to Send PM

    Thanks Kak7127, I’ve definitely been spending too much time time reading. It’s when you see stories about infestations where they never found the main harbourage, or never saw a live bug that have worried me, especially as I don’t reliably respond to bites. Monitors will definitely help but again, I think I might have a hard time trusting them after reading some threads here. It also doesn’t help that I’ve been reading a lot of the scientific literature (I’m a researcher) which makes it difficult to trust in pesticides, which is really the only available treatment option here (UK, not in London).

    I’m gutted as well that my friend might have them, as I can’t tell them what I found without sounding a) insane and b) really intrusive. I know I’m not going to feel comfortable visiting them or having them over for the foreseeable future, which is horrible.

    Thanks for responding, it weirdly helps knowing other people are in similar situations. I’d just like to know for sure there’s nothing I my home. I read your old posts and it sounds like you’ve had a really shit run of luck. I hope you are/stay bug free!

  5. BedBugsLondon

    junior member
    Joined: Aug '19
    Posts: 168

    offline

    Posted 2 months ago
    Wed Oct 2 2019 9:17:47
    #



    Login to Send PM

    Talk to your friends, your silence is helping no one. If (and it’s a big if) your friends have bed bugs they may not know. Having said that I think it’s unlikely that you would have found a carcass but no fecal staining.
    The monitors are most effective if you do not use any sprays or powders and do not isolate the bed. Any failure I have seen has been due to those factors. Trust me, I have a passive monitor on my bed all the time and it has alerted me to a rogue bed bug I bought home!

    In accordance with the AUP and FTC (legal requirements) I openly disclose my vested interest in Passive Monitors as employee of the patent holder. Since 2009 they have become an integral part in how we resolve bed bug infestations.

    For those that are curious, yes it can be challenging working for David
  6. HaveIGotBugs2019

    newbite
    Joined: Sep '19
    Posts: 23

    offline

    Posted 2 months ago
    Thu Oct 3 2019 4:57:09
    #



    Login to Send PM

    Hi BedBugsLondon,
    I was thinking of dropping it into conversation quite subtly rather than being upfront and running the risk of impacting our friendship/not being taken seriously (mentioning the need to check and monitor their new flat etc). They know about my experience with bed bugs this summer and that I’m on pretty high alert for them at the moment. I’m telling everyone I know to check hotels/rentals before bringing any luggage into the room and to hot wash or dry clothes immediately on returning home. I’m an early career academic so I and a lot of people I know travel frequently.

    Considering they dismantled the bed frame if there was a harbourage of live bugs there they should have seen something. I didn’t get a chance to do a thorough check for fecal staining but I really hope that my bug ID was wrong!

    That’s good to know - I was going to order passive monitors anyway (the concept makes sense to me, removal before establishment, but studies of effectiveness have proved hard to find in the literature) and my Bed Bug Blue arrived yesterday which I think will allow me to manage anxiety over stains on my sheets/bedding.

    Thanks everyone for your commiseration/advice, it does really help!


RSS feed for this topic


Reply

You must log in to post.

297,217 posts in 50,141 topics over 155 months by 21,920 of 22,415 members. Latest: Cain69, Bery10, plsnopls